United States Senate elections in South Dakota, 2014

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2014 U.S. Senate Elections in South Dakota

General Election Date
November 4, 2014

Primary Date
June 3, 2014

November 4 Election Winner:
Mike Rounds Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Tim Johnson Democratic Party
Tim Johnson.jpg

Race Ratings
Cook Political Report: Likely Republican[1]

Sabato's Crystal Ball: Likely R[2]

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2014 U.S. House Elections

Flag of South Dakota.png
Voters in South Dakota will elect one member to the U.S. Senate in the November 4, 2014 elections.

South Dakota is one of 21 states with a mixed primary system.[3]

The election will fill the Senate seat currently held by Tim Johnson (D). Johnson was first elected in 1996. He announced on March 25, 2013 that he would not be seeking another term in 2014.[4]


Note: Prior to the signature filing deadline, candidates will be added when Ballotpedia writers come across declared candidates. If you see a name of a candidate who is missing, please email us and we will add that name. As the election draws closer, more information will be added to this page.

Announced candidates

Potential candidates

Declined to run

Race background

Three term Senator Tim Johnson (D) of South Dakota announced on March 25, 2013, that he would not seek another term in 2014.[4]

In a news conference at his alma mater, the University of South Dakota, Johnson joked, "I will be 68 years old at the end of this term and it is time for me to say goodbye. As much as [my wife] Barbara would like me to run again, I have to say no. I'm honored and humbled that the people of South Dakota, Democrats, Republicans and independents, have allowed me to represent you in the state legislature, the United States House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate."[4]

Johnson was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996 and won re-election in 2002.[10] In 2006, Johnson suffered a brain hemorrhage that almost killed him, but he recovered and went on to run for and win re-election in 2008.[10] When asked if his health was behind his decision not to run again, Johnson answered, "I feel great, but I must be honest. I appreciate that my right arm and right leg are not what they used to be and my speech is not entirely there. But I think mostly that it's time to go."[10]

If he had made a bid for another term in the Senate, Johnson was expected to face a tough win for re-election and was considered vulnerable.[11]

Johnson was the fifth Democratic Senator to announce plans to retire in 2014.[10] Others include Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, Tom Harkin of Iowa, Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, and Carl Levin of Michigan. Two Republican senators, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and Mike Johanns of Nebraska, are also not making bids next year for another term in office.[10]

The 2014 election was the first time since 1978 that South Dakota had an open Senate seat.[12]

Race ratings

Most vulnerable seats

The FiscalTimes compiled a list of the seven most vulnerable Senate seats up for election in 2014. The seven included in the list are: Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia. Going into the 2014 election, all seven seats are held by Democrats.[11]

With former two-term Gov. Mike Rounds (R) likely to run for this seat, incumbent Tim Johnson (D) will have his hands full if he decides to seek another term in 2014.[11] In some ways, Johnson may be vulnerable. After suffering a life-threatening brain hemorrhage in 2006, he may not be up to a competitive campaign. Moreover, South Dakota has been strongly Republican at the presidential level and increasingly so for other federal elections. However, South Dakota has a record of mixing partisan affiliations of its congressional delegation in Washington.[11]

Election history


On November 2, 2010, John Thune won re-election to the United States Senate. He ran unopposed in the general election.[13]

U.S. Senate, South Dakota General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Thune Incumbent 100% 227,947
Total Votes 227,947


On November 4, 2008, Tim Johnson won re-election to the United States Senate. He defeated Joel Dykstra in the general election.[14]

U.S. Senate, South Dakota General Election, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngTim Johnson Incumbent 62.5% 237,889
     Republican Joel Dykstra 37.5% 142,784
Total Votes 380,673

See also

External links